Greenville County Council votes to close bars earlier and add more development

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville County Council passed several ordinances Tuesday night.

One of the more debated issues included ceasing the sale of alcohol and closing bars and clubs in the county at 2 a.m.

Council voted in favor of the ordinance in an effort to make the city safer.

Data provided by the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office shows from January 2016 to May 2017, most violent crime calls at certain bars across the county happened between 2 and 6 am.

However, people opposed to the ordinance say shutting these establishments down early will create more problems.

“You limit people’s places to go, and that leads them to do other things they shouldn’t do,” said patron Robbie Fleming.

Club owners say drunk driving and illegal activity will increase, and they’ll lose money to other counties

“The sheriff’s department is not going to have enough man power to deal with the amount of house parties that are going to start popping up,” said Vyron Johnson, the owner of Club Luna.

Club owners say they’ll lose about 60 percent of their income with the clubs closing early, and it could cause unemployment.

Councilman Ennis Fant tried to delay the vote.

“So, maybe we can address the violent crime concern that happens late night, but at the same time not put people out of business,” Fant said.

Council members say they can possibly amend the ordinance that passed but felt they had discussed it enough.

Council says they’re going to talk to the sheriff Wednesday to see discuss implementation.

Council also voted 7 to 5 to approve a rezoning ordinance on Woodruff Road.

Council is moving forward with development that will bring a Sprouts Grocery Store and other mixed-use development to the road where it intersects with Highway 14.

It’s been a highly contentious topic. People who live in the area say the area already has too much traffic and an abundance of grocery stores.

They also say the area was zoned residential, but council says the development is in line with the county’s comprehensive plan.

Council also voted to not sale the old Berea Middle School property to Legacy Charter School.

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